023: Inc. Yourself

023: Inc. Yourself
Photo by Chela B. / Unsplash

You can play by your own rules!

I'm not talking about being rebellious.

But I am talking about being more radical where it's needed.

My take on "Inc. yourself," for our context is: incorporate a new brand of growth and aging into your life.

My friend, mentor, and colleague, Steve Roller, says it best:

"Liberate yourself from the constraints of conformity!"

When it comes to how you age - it's freeing to make and break a few rules.

In fact, aging well is truly about liberating yourself from the constraints of what others are doing or saying - especially if they're more inclined to act-their-age instead of pushing their personal limits.

Inc. yourself through non-conformity about growth and aging

I've lived most of my life on the radical edges.

I choose to be a bit more contrarian than conventional about many things in life.

And now that I'm a few years into my second-half I'm fully embracing non-conformity about my personal growth, aging, and longevity potential.

...nonconformity is a powerful force. It allows us to break free from the status quo and explore new possibilities. It allows us to be true to ourselves and express our individuality. It also allows us to learn and grow, pushing ourselves to be better and achieve our full potential." - Better Man Mission on Medium

It's time to Inc. yourself.

  • Discover what it means to play-by-your-own rules (and what it doesn't mean)
  • Discover why conformity is constraining and why it's liberating to step away from the crowd
  • Discover how to be yourself and be fully comfortable in your own skin

Whatever growth and aging rules you follow make sure they're personal (and liberating)

Templates or boundaries keep things simple and orderly.

But they also keep you from pushing the limits when possible or necessary.

Playing-by-your-own-rules has the potential for good or bad outcomes.

It's especially unnerving if you're one who's more comfortable following the crowd.

Just because someone can build a crowd doesn't mean their rules are liberating for everyone content to follow them.

For example, the crowd relative to aging and longevity might place limits that keep you from a more fulfilling future that playing by your own rules would produce.

  • Know your personal limits and boundaries while also giving yourself permission to push them on occasion - trying new things, re-thinking retirement, re-investing your time and skills in something fulfilling...you name it!
  • Do a personal evaluation of your attitude and mindset about aging. Is it your personal standard or someone else's (crowd-standard)?
  • Make some new "rules" about how you will age. Remember age is a number not a "noose"!

When you feel stifled by the noise step away from the crowd

This is difficult if you’re a pleaser.

It’s equally challenging if you thrive on someone else’s drama or chaos.

The noise becomes a narcotic of sorts. The kind that drowns out the sweeter sounds of contentment and productive stillness.

I don’t know what your ear worm noise is at the moment.

But I suspect it could be popular opinions, media (social or mainstream), guru-speak, or anything that numbs you to actually thinking for yourself.

"In her book, Counter Clockwise, Harvard psychologist Ellen J. Langer writes that as we grow older, we have a tendency to mindlessly give in to negative stereotypes." - Annelie on Medium
  • Turn-down-the-volume on those crowd-noise expectations you're being fed about your age, your life-expectancy, and those who shove "ageism" down your throat (you know...those who treat you as if you've ceased to be relevant).
  • Turn-up-the-volume on your self-awareness about your earned relevance and wisdom. You don't need a crowd to validate your personal value.

In essence, if you're going to go along with a crowd make sure it's one of your choosing.

Be certain that their collective mindset supports your own about growth, aging, and longevity.

(I know one content creator who is committed to drawing that kind of crowd...wink, wink!)

Whoever is looking back at you in the mirror - be fully content with who you see (and if you aren't decide what you can do about it)

Advice I received in my mid-20's from an older colleague has stayed with me.

When I was tempted to mimic someone else in my career at the time (easy to do when you're young and impressionable) he would casually, yet convincingly say, "Eddie, be yourself!"

My advice, now that I'm the older "colleague" in your corner...

"Be yourself!"

That's timeless advice you'll ever age-out-of.

When you begin to feel the years stacking-against you - take a look in the mirror and appreciate the reality that you're still in-the-game.

  • Take inventory of what you've accomplished and commit yourself to accomplishing something new or different - something entirely unique to you.
  • Give yourself credit for those worthwhile relationships, career choices, beliefs, convictions, health and wellness markers, and anything that defines who you are.
  • Keep an eye on the horizon and ride the new waves as they peak. We're all surfers in a sense (if you know me you knew I'd get an ocean reference in here) and the reality is that you could be one wave away from the ride-of-your-life.

Inc. yourself - because if you don't someone else's agenda about growth and aging will (if you allow it)

  • Make sure the rules you live by are liberating not constraining.
  • Step away from the crowd when the noise isn't useful.
  • And always...be yourself.

Press on...